Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is a court-ordered payment made by one spouse to the other during or after a divorce. The purpose of spousal maintenance is to provide financial support to a spouse who may be unable to support themselves following a divorce. In Illinois, the court will consider several factors when determining whether spousal maintenance is appropriate and, if so, the payment amount.
Eligibility for spousal maintenance
In Illinois, either spouse may be eligible for spousal maintenance or alimony, depending on their circumstances. Some factors that the court may consider when determining eligibility for spousal maintenance include:
- The length of the marriage
- The income and property of each spouse
- The age, health, and education of each spouse
- The earning potential of each spouse
- The standard of living during the marriage
Calculating the amount of spousal maintenance
No set guidelines exist for calculating the amount of spousal maintenance in Illinois. The court will consider many factors to determine an appropriate amount. Factors include marriage length, income, property, resources, and needs of each spouse. In general, the goal of spousal maintenance is to help the recipient spouse achieve a standard of living that is reasonable and appropriate given their circumstances.
Duration of spousal maintenance
The duration of spousal maintenance in Illinois will depend on the length of the marriage and the recipient’s needs. In general, spousal maintenance is intended to be temporary and will end when the recipient spouse becomes self-sufficient or when the court determines that it is no longer necessary. In some cases, however, spousal maintenance may be ordered permanently, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Spousal maintenance can be a complex and emotional issue for divorcing spouses. Understanding the process explained above can alleviate some of the associated stress.